Prints with Purpose

Olivia is now a member of the B4B team

I did my first workshop in Birdsong Studio yesterday with the purpose of raise money and awareness for Bracelets 4 Buildings (B4B), a charity that builds safe and sustainable homes for the poorest of the poor in Cambodia.  A portion of each registration is going toward the effort and each participant is now a member of our B4B family.

This amazing photo was taken by our friend Mark Kelly
I was very honoured to give each of them bracelets handmade by Toem and Sett, both recipients of B4B homes.  If you'd like to read their story, please click here.

Heather and I wrote a lot about our Cambodia experiences back in December, when we had travelled to southeast Asia as B4B Ambassadors.  We will be doing the same in January/February of 2019.  I also volunteer as a member of the small B4B board of directors.  Using my workshops to raise a little bit of extra money and awareness makes sense.  However, I'm always looking for new ways to help make a difference. I thought I would enlist my talkative raven friend to help.
We are going to offer limited edition gallery canvas prints of the striking raven painting that I did back on May 6th.  I asked for some feedback on the Russell Thomas Art Facebook page as to what size would be best to offer.  As it turned out, there was absolutely no consensus.  So, instead of committing to one size and price, we are going to give people a choice.

16" x 16" - $200
20" x 20" - $250
24" x 24" - $300

In other words, only 50 canvas prints of "My talkative raven friend" will ever be available, but you get to choose the size and price that works for you.

A photo taken by our friend Alistair Maitland

A total of $25 from each purchase will be forwarded to B4B to help with the next season of building homes and changing lives in rural Cambodia.  In addition to receiving your signed and numbered gallery canvas print, you will be offered one of the Cambodian bracelets handmade by Toem and Sett.  When people ask you about the new bracelet on your wrist, you can share the B4B story and that you're now part of the team. 

Why the raven?  Why chose this piece of art to raise funds and awareness for B4B?  It's simple.  In my observations, the raven is incredibly resourceful, smart, social and resilient.  They adapt to whatever Mother Nature throws at them.  The poorest of the poor in Cambodia are very similar.  They have so little, but manage to take care of each other.  They make the absolute most of the resources that they have and the opportunities that surround them.  They also adapt through the wet and dry seasons.


If you follow my journey, you've probably heard that I talk to my raven friends.  They are highly social beings, and even though our languages are different, we still seem to be able to communicate.  The same can be said for my friends in rural Cambodia.  The language difference ceased to be a barrier after we got comfortable with each other.

I'll be ordering in my first batch of these prints with purpose later on today.  If you want to reserve one, just send me a note on the Russell Thomas Art Facebook page.  Or, if you are not a Facebook user, feel free to send me an email: russell.thomas@birdsongconnections.com.  Of course, if you are inspired by the purpose behind this print and want to make an additional donation, that would be absolutely lovely.  As the prints all need to be numbered and signed, they will be coming to Birdsong Studio in Fort McMurray from the manufacturer.  If you live in another community and want us to ship one to you, we would be thrilled to do so.  There will be a modest extra cost to do this, but we can figure that out together.

As a side note, we are always looking for B4B Ambassadors.  If you are interested in financing the build of a home and travelling to Cambodia to meet the family and participate in the process of changing lives, let me know.  I have several B4B colleagues and friends who would be happy to chat with you.

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